Counselling Service podcasts | University of Oxford
Paving outside the Maths Institute, Oxford
Penrose paving outside the main entrance of the Mathematical Institute
Copyright © Oxford University Images / Rob Judges Photography -- All rights reserved.

Counselling Service podcasts

These podcasts have been developed to address some of the particular concerns that students at the University speak about when they attend the Counselling Service.  

Give yourself the time to listen and reflect on the material in a quiet and private space so that you can get the most out of them. Some of the broadcasts are relatively lengthy (up to 15 minutes) so require a commitment to listen and engage, some of them are divided into parts.

All podcasts can be listened to on the University's podcast site, or downloaded from iTunes U.

Examination preparation and revision

Part one: getting into the right mind set: 12 mins, 18 secs

Additional resources for examination preparation and revision (PDF)

For any student who is preparing to take examinations at any point in their course. The podcast aims to start to identify ways of achieving a balanced approach to thinking about examinations. It offers some practical tips for overcoming different obstacles to examination preparation and suggests how to move away from over-thinking into a phase of active planning.

Part two: planning and revision: 10 mins, 7 secs

Additional resources for examination preparation and revision (PDF)

Part 2 includes useful reminders of how to start planning for revision by taking stock of knowledge to date and starting to plan and timetable your revision. There are also some ideas to help you make the most of your revision time and to help make it effective and engaging.

Part three: before, during and after the examination: 8mins, 5 secs

Additional resources for examination preparation and revision (PDF)

This podcast focuses on the examination itself – and just before it – and what might help you to feel prepared. There are also some ideas for how to cope both in the examination and after the examination. This section also includes two brief exercises: a breathing exercise and a centring technique.

Can't work

Part one: 12 min, 30 secs
For students who are finding it difficult to work. You might be lacking motivation, or finding it difficult to get beyond imagining criticism and judgements. You might be having trouble finishing off your work or handing it in. The podcast is divided into two parts, designed to be listened one after another. The first part will look at some of the underlying reasons why you might be struggling to work at the moment.

Part two: 14 mins, 48 secs
The second 'Can't work' podcast contains strategies that will help you to start working again.

Mature students

Podcast: 14 mins, 15secs
Designed for any student who might be significantly older than their peers at the University and who might be dealing with particular issues as a result of this. Written in collaboration with several ‘mature students’.

Advice for freshers

Podcast: 9 mins, 30 secs
Freshers receive all sorts of advice about how to approach the experience of university. This podcast offers advice from the Oxford University Counselling Service, who see hundreds of Freshers every year, and so have a unique and privileged perspective on what can go wrong, and how to get it to go right. This podcast is designed to be relevant to all first year students as they enter into the Oxford experience - those who may be feeling daunted by the prospect of plunging into Oxford life, but also those who simply want to feel as prepared as possible to make the most of the experience.

International students 

Podcast: 16 mins, 43 secs

This podcast explores some of the emotional challenges faced by international students. It focuses on issues around coping with change, adapting to a new culture and language, and looks at some of the emotions that may emerge in the process of adjustment to a new environment.

Can’t stop work?

Podcast: 14 mins, 12 secs
Exploring overwork at Oxford, this podcast is for students who struggle to balance their work with other life activities, and find the balance tipping heavily towards their work. We explore themes including perfectionism, sustainability, the costs and benefits of overwork, defining oneself with one’s work, and discuss ideas about how to work smarter and not harder. The podcast uses real student experiences voiced by members of the counselling team.

Mindful breathing space

Podcast: 5 mins, 30secs
This is a short meditation, a breathing space, to help you to feel calm and focused in the midst of a busy day, or to use when feeling stressed or overwhelmed.  It is a way of anchoring yourself to the present moment, a pause in which to steady yourself whatever is going on around you. This mindful breathing space can be practised as little or as often as you wish but you will probably notice more benefit if you do it on a regular basis. If you would like to know more about mindfulness then visit the Oxford Mindfulness Centre website.

Helping yourself to sleep

Podcast: 11 mins, 12secs
Getting a good night’s sleep is crucial for feeling well and for being able to function properly during the day. If you are having difficulty sleeping this podcast has some straightforward suggestions for improving your sleep. The Sleep Council website contains further useful information.

Considering suspension? A podcast for those who feel stuck, and unable to decide

Podcast: 20 mins, 39 secs

For students who are feeling torn between suspending their studies in response to a setback – for example a period of mental or physical illness – or carrying on with their studies. It encourages students to reflect on their motivations, draws attention to some of the upsides and downsides of taking time off, and offers some practical suggestions for reaching sound decisions based on their own particular circumstances.

The price of success: common experiences of high-achieving students

Podcast: 11 mins, 45 secs

This podcast considers how personal difficulties arise and manifest amongst otherwise successful students. It illustrates how increased self-understanding can help. Furthermore, it suggests that strategic personal development can help foster a more resourceful and secure adult identity, better equipped to manage life’s vagaries.

The relentless drive for perfection: a student context

Podcast: 17 mins, 53 secs

A conversation between two members of the University Counselling Staff about common ways in which perfectionism impacts on the enjoyment of the student experience. Useful resources that accompany the podcast include:

The pressure to be perfect: ways of responding

Podcast: 17 mins

Some ideas to help students respond to anxiety about needing to be perfect. Useful resources that accompany the podcast include:

Self-compassion

Part one: 5 mins, 29 secs

This introductory podcast explores the concept of developing your inner resource of self-compassion and the skills required to do this. Being a student at Oxford can trigger our inner critic and hence a more dis-compassionate approach to ourselves. This can negatively affect our motivation and performance in our academic and personal lives, so the need for a more compassionate approach to the challenges you encounter on your student journey.

Part two: 10 mins, 45 secs

Part two on this topic invites you to engage in two brief, meditative and compassionate exercises to further develop your inner resource of self-compassion. The final exercise provides some hints and tips on simple yet specific things you can try to build self-compassion into your daily routine. 

Was this page useful?*